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IFC’s “Innovation Marketplace” in Istanbul to Support the Startup Ecosystem in Turkey


In Istanbul:
Basak Pamir Ulgen
Phone: +90 212 385 3075
E-mail: bulgen@ifc.org

Istanbul, Turkey, June 15, 2015 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, hosted a business development  and networking event, ‘Innovation Marketplace’, in collaboration with General Electric and Girisim Fabrikasi, Ozyegin University’s Accelerator Program.

The half-day invite-only event brought together over 20 local and regional companies with 16 hand-picked startups in Turkey, to share ideas, expand networks and develop new partnerships. The start-up companies were selected among those focused on healthcare, smart energy and industrial data management sectors.

Aisha Williams, IFC Country Manager for Turkey said: “IFC works with the private sector in Turkey, providing financing and advice in line with the World Banks Group’s strategic priorities for Turkey. We also see great value in leading projects where we can contribute to private sector development by providing resources, know-how and training that could lead to business development opportunities for Turkish companies. Supporting innovation is a global priority for IFC and we are happy to provide a platform for startup companies and companies to exchange ideas and explore new partnerships.”

Erdogan Cesmeli, Strategic Investments Director, GE Turkey highlighted the importance of collaboration and said: “The way we do business is radically changing. The business world of the new era provides tools and solutions, which enable employees, companies and organizations to increase local innovation and productivity, to promote entrepreneurship and to expand opportunities by creating common manufacturing models based on cooperation and innovation. We will keep supporting entrepreneurs and innovators with our new GE Turkey Innovation Center in TeknoPark.”

”Doing business with corporates and gaining traction through their support is way more valuable than venture investment for startups. Besides being the engine of growth for countries, start-ups also carry huge benefits for firms which are struggling with innovation efforts. We are hosting this mutually advantageous meet up for the first time in Turkey, and we believe that it will result in highly effective collaborations said Ihsan Elgin, Founding Director of Ozyegin University Girisim Fabrikasi.

Analysis of the key sources of economic growth shows that the biggest differences between developed and developing economies are related to the ability to innovate. Innovation is critical for economic growth and a strategic priority for IFC around the world.

IFC has been supporting private sector development in Turkey for the past 50 years. With a $4.3 billion outstanding portfolio, Turkey is the second largest country in IFC’s global portfolio.  In line with the Turkey Country Partnership Strategy for fiscal years 2012-2015, IFC invested a record $2.8 billion in private sector projects in Turkey.

About IFC:
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About Ozyegin University Girisim Fabrikasi:

Girisim Fabrikasi is founded in the body of Ozyegin University in the year of 2011. Girisim Fabrikasi is the first startup accelerator program in Turkey. Still supported by Turkcell. In the body of Girisim Fabrikasi, more than 6.5 Million TL of grand and investment is supplied to 29 entrepreneurs, who are elected from more than 1900 candidates. For more information, visit www.girisimfabrikasi.com.

About GE:
GE (NYSE: GE) imagines things others don’t, builds things others can’t and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world. For more information, visit www.ge.com.